Chemistry Research Opportunities

While chemistry explores matter and energy, our professors focus on what matters most—you. That’s why we designed our faculty-mentored undergraduate research programs to empower your personal, academic and career goals.

Work Side-by-Side with Faculty

Research offers you the indispensable chance to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it directly. You’ll use state-of-the-art instruments and technology in our modern laboratory spaces to investigate pressing scientific questions. And you’ll do this all with the encouragement and guidance of your professors, who will provide one-on-one instruction and mentorship for the entirety of your research project.

All chemistry and biochemistry majors participate in research projects, and you can fill this research requirement with either course-based research experiences, longer-term faculty mentored research or external internships.

How Do Chemistry Research Projects Work?

  • All research projects are conducted in Seattle University laboratories or approved external sites.  
  • Students can work either as part of a faculty-mentored research group or as part of a course-based undergraduate research experience.
  • You’ll receive personal attention from faculty who will work by your side to address pressing global problems using cutting edge scientific techniques.  
  • Students document their research activities in the laboratory and provide regular progress reports to their faculty advisors.  
  • Research projects culminate in formal project presentations (both written and oral) as part of the senior synthesis course series.
  • Some research students present their work at regional, national and international conferences, and some also earn co-authorship on peer-reviewed journal articles. 

What Are the Project Outcomes?

  • Gaining hands-on laboratory skills and expertise in using modern, research-grade instruments, experiences that employers value highly.  
  • Developing expertise in a specific chemistry or biochemistry area of research.
  • Building a thorough understanding of the scientific process while working within a collaborative team environment.  
  • Fostering a broader perspective for chemistry’s many applications to society and the natural world. 

How Will Research in Seattle Benefit Me?

  • Seattle University has partnered with leading research institutes and hospitals in the city to provide off-campus research and internship opportunities that are only available in major metropolitan areas.  
  • Your interactions with Seattle organizations allow you to build on your academic experience while positioning you to network for your future career path. 

What Types of Research Can I Participate In?

  • P.J. Alaimo’s, PhD, research group focuses on the development of “green” synthetic methods for generating heterocycles of biological importance.
  • Katie Frato’s, PhD, research group investigates the unique structure and reactivity of proteins with metals at their active site, particularly heme-containing enzymes.
  • Joseph Langenhan, PhD, and his researchers investigate the interface of chemistry and biology, redesigning biological molecules with the twin goals of understanding their functions and modulating their activities.  
  • Doug Latch’s, PhD, research group focuses on advancements in aquatic environmental chemistry.
  • Jennifer Loertscher’s, PhD, research group seeks to understand and improve student learning in undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Ryan McLaughlin’s, PhD, research explores the spectroscopic characterization of environmentally relevant compounds.
  • Kristen Skogerboe’s, PhD, research develops sensitive methods for the analysis of biologic molecules and promotes active learning in the chemistry curriculum.  
  • Eric Watson’s, PhD, research examines the preparation, characterization and reactivity of original triple-layer bimetallic complexes.
  • Chris Whidbey’s, PhD, research group develops and uses chemical tools to understand how microbiomes influence human health.
  • Jen Sorensen’s, PhD, research focuses on strategies to improve K-12 science teacher training.